Summary: This guide will dive into the question of who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Additionally, it will discuss Satoshi’s pioneering accomplishments in the crypto industry, potential facts about the creator’s identity, and the people thought to be or claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
What is Bitcoin?
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto and what do we know (so far)?
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The name is widely believed to be a pseudonym the creator(s) used to hide their true identity. Dozens have tried to uncover this secret. And almost 15 years since, no one managed to get closer to the truth.
Despite Satoshi’s true identity remaining unknown, we have gathered the following information:
- According to his P2P Foundation profile, Satoshi Nakamoto is from Japan. However, the profile’s bio is not definite proof, and there is no additional evidence of the creator’s country of origin or residence.
- According to the same P2P Foundation profile, as of 2022, Satoshi Nakamoto is 47 and male. If this is true, the person who is Satoshi Nakamoto was in his 30s when he launched Bitcoin;
- Email, forum, and chat correspondences on P2P Foundation and BitcoinTalk forums lead us to believe that only one person is behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. It shows Satoshi making a first-person reference, using phrases such as “I will,” “I’ve been working,” “I think”, and “I am not Dorian Nakamoto,” among others.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s Notable Accomplishments
Satoshi Nakamoto appeared in 2008 when he launched the Bitcoin whitepaper. He vanished three years later when he estimated the network had grown enough to survive without his input. This leaves us with three of four years of Satoshi’s history to talk about. Despite the short span, he achieved quite a bit to make a name for himself:
Created the Bitcoin network
Satoshi proposed his decentralized network in 2008 to a cryptography mailing list titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” His proposal included a solution to the persistent ‘double-spending’ problem, which saw the birth of the Bitcoin network.
It is worth noting that Satoshi used a previously discovered technique called Proof of Work (PoW) in Bitcoin mining that was invented by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and shared in a 1993 journal. PoW was created as a security mechanism to deter denial-of-service attacks.
Satoshi Nakamoto found a way to include it in his Bitcoin proposal to ensure that it was difficult for nefarious actors to attack the network.
To prevent the double spending problem, Satoshi implemented a redundancy strategy. In other words, all nodes in the network would hold a copy of the authentic version of the Bitcoin ledger. Anyone could join the network and operate a Bitcoin node, thereby verifying transactions and maintaining a full ledger copy.
This first successful blockchain implementation has been the underlying concept for all subsequent blockchain networks.
Created the first successful digital currency
With the launch of the Bitcoin network, Satoshi also launched the network’s native digital asset with the same name. Bitcoin is the flagship cryptocurrency and by far the largest digital currency by market capitalization.
The purpose of Bitcoin was to serve as a value-transfer asset in the same way that fiat currency works. It could be used to buy goods and services as a store of value and as a speculative asset. The only difference between Bitcoin and other conventional currencies is that with the former, no government agency or central authority is responsible for its issuance and management.
Single largest (individual) holder of bitcoins
The person who is Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to be the single largest holder of bitcoins that he mined during the formative years of Bitcoin. Blockchain sleuths have determined that he holds in excess of 1 million coins in various crypto wallets that have been associated with the mysterious creator.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s Net Worth
If this claim is true, he could be one of the richest people in the world, with Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth reportedly reaching a whopping $16 billion, and he is en route to becoming the richest as the price of bitcoin rises.
Created BitcoinTalk forum
BitcoinTalk is a Bitcoin-dedicated forum for community members to interact, correspond, discuss, inform and collaborate on all matters related to the premier blockchain. Satoshi created it in 2009, the same year that he launched Bitcoin.
The forum has grown to become the world’s biggest blockchain-related forum. It serves as an excellent introduction for beginners to the cryptocurrency space as well as experts and other enthusiasts to find other like-minded people with whom to interact.
People Thought to Be Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi’s true identity and nationality remain unknown, but this has not stopped journalists and blockchain enthusiasts from speculating about this subject. Over the last decade, several individuals have been suggested based on various theories.
Hal Finney was a computer scientist, coder, Bitcoin pioneer, and cryptography enthusiast. Finney was a member of the mailing list to which Satoshi first announced his plans to launch Bitcoin. He was also the first to subscribe to the idea and download the Bitcoin software for testing and bug reporting.
Additionally, Finney became the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi himself, an amount of 50 BTC, which he later admitted he forgot to refund.
The claim that Finney might just be Satoshi himself came from Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg, who reported that his search for Satoshi had led him to a “paralyzed crypto genius.”
The journalist discovered that Finney lived a few blocks from a Japanese-American, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, who might have inspired his choice of a pseudonym. Subsequently, Greenberg took samples of Finney’s original writings and compared them with Satoshi’s through a writing analysis consultancy service, which showed a close resemblance.
However, Finney disproved Greenberg’s theory by revealing personal email correspondences he shared with Satoshi as they collaborated during the early days of Bitcoin.
Finney died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in August 2014 at 58.
Dorian was a Japanese-American living in California in 2014 when the journalist Leah McGrath Goodman put him forward as the alleged creator of Bitcoin in the Newsweek article titled “The Face Behind Bitcoin.”
According to Goodman, several clues alluded that Dorian was Satoshi Nakamoto. First was his name, which coincided with the Bitcoin creator’s name. Secondly, he lived a few blocks from Hal Finney, with whom Satoshi collaborated to launch the network in Bitcoin’s formative years.
The third was Dorian’s profession which seemed to fit the profile. He was a trained physicist who previously worked as a systems engineer on classified defence projects and as a computer engineer with several companies. Dorian also exhibited libertarian tendencies following his layoff from government twice in the early ‘90s.
Goodman further claimed that the confirmation of Dorian’s involvement in the creation of Bitcoin came when he was heard saying: “I am no longer involved in that, and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.” Dorian denied the claim, saying it was picked out of context and he was referencing his other professional engagements and not Bitcoin.
Apparently, it turned out he was just a collateral of overzealous journalism. The person who is Satoshi Nakamoto himself laid the matter to rest when he posted on the P2P Foundation, stating, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”
Szabo is an early Cypherpunk with a libertarian mindset; the person behind the idea of “smart contracts” that govern highly successful dApp platforms such as Ethereum (ETH).
He is a computer programmer and cryptographer who came up with the idea of creating digital money called Bit Gold in 1998. It would have been a predecessor to Bitcoin with numerous parallels and similarities that eventually made their way into Bitcoin. Unfortunately, Bit Gold never saw the light of day.
Nathaniel Popper, the author of ‘Digital Gold’ and a journalist for the New York Times, wrote an article in which he posited that “the most convincing evidence [on Satoshis’s true identity] pointed to a reclusive American man of Hungarian descent named Nick Szabo.”
However, Szabo has decidedly denied being Satoshi. In an email correspondence with Popper, he wrote: “As I’ve stated many times before, all this speculation is flattering but wrong — I am not Satoshi.”
Unlike the three individuals who denied being Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright has publicly claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin and the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper. He even filed for U.S. copyright over the whitepaper and the original Bitcoin source code in 2019, eventually achieving the rights.
Gavin Andersen, a former lead Bitcoin developer also suspected to be Satoshi when his visit to the CIA coincided with the disappearance of the Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, has publicly backed Wright’s claims he was Satoshi, later expressing regret over his involvement, saying he made “a mistake to trust Craig Wright.”
However, it is worth noting that anyone can file for copyrights and claim them with sufficient proof. It does not confirm Wright to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Craig Wright is an Australian computer scientist, businessman, and controversial figure since his claim on Satoshi’s real identity. He has faced harsh criticism from several blockchain experts, including Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin and British journalist Peter McCormack.
Wright has been in and out of courtrooms trying to prove his claims and deter his critics but has failed to prove that he is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto. An indisputable proof would be a show of ownership of Satoshi’s Bitcoin wallets, achieved by signing a transaction from any known wallet.
Alternatively, he could claim ownership of Satoshi’s P2P Foundation account or even the Bitcoin creator’s email address. This would definitely prove the person who is Satoshi Nakamoto is actually him. Wright has failed to do any of this. However, he used the copyright given to him to cause quite a stir by posting from Satoshi Nakamoto’s “verified” Twitter account. The users have seen through the ruse, which led to a backlash.
It is difficult to imagine a person as influential as Satoshi Nakamoto remaining anonymous, but that has been precisely the case for over a decade now. No one has brought up any reliable information, and it seems that will remain the case.
This anonymity aligns with Bitcoin’s core values: decentralization and doing away with regulatory authorities. Satoshi Nakamoto has remained true to his ideology of financial freedom. By stepping out and keeping the secret, he removed the single most influential factor on Bitcoin from the equation. Satoshi’s legacy lives on, independent from its creator and regulatory bodies, driven forward by its community and the desire for a digital currency for everyone without limits.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.
Frequently Asked Questions on Satoshi Nakamoto
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is an anonymous individual or organization who authored the Bitcoin blockchain whitepaper in 2008 and also launched the network in January 2009. Satoshi vanished from the public in 2011 after successfully launching Bitcoin.
How much is Satoshi Nakamoto worth?
The true Satoshi Nakamoto net worth is unknown due to the nature of the blockchain space. It is nearly impossible to link a wallet to its owner unless they voluntarily provide evidence, which Satoshi has not. However, some claim that Satoshi holds at least one million Bitcoins, currently valued at over $16 billion.
Can Satoshi Nakamoto be found?
Satoshi has successfully evaded any identification. He made a great effort to hide his tracks, and unless he himself reveals his identity, it is not very likely he will be doxxed.
What does Satoshi Nakamoto mean?
Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym used by the Bitcoin’s creator. It is the name used on all his public profiles, forum postings, and the original Bitcoin whitepaper. The name has a Japanese origin, with the first part referencing someone ‘wise’ and ‘quick in their thinking.’ ‘Nakamoto’ means the base or the foundation.